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Cleveland State at Purdue: Preview, Odds, & How to Watch

Purdue faces a final tune-up before Finals and the Crossroads Classic.

NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night in New York was an impressive show for Purdue. The same is true for its game in Cancun with Auburn. In both games Purdue faced off against a fast, athletic team and completely kicked its ass. Now we get to return home for what should be an easy Saturday afternoon affair against a Cleveland State team that had a slow start, but is putting it together a little with a modest two-game winning streak.

Cleveland State Vikings

From: Cleveland, OH

Date : Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tip Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Location: West Lafayette, IN

Arena: Mackey Arena (14,804)

Television: ESPN3

Online: WatchESPN

Radio: Purdue Radio Network

SiriusXM Satellite: XM (Ch. 381); Internet (Ch. 968)

Live Stats: bit.ly/PurdueLiveStats

Odds: No Line Yet

KenPom: 224

RPI: 187

2015-16 Record: 9-23, 4-14 Horizon League

2016-17 Record: 3-5

Opponent Blog: None

Series with Purdue: First Meeting

Last Cleveland State Win: None

Last Purdue Win: None

NCAA Tournament History: 2 appearances, last in 2009. 1986 Sweet 16 (Upset 3 seed Indiana that year)

Cleveland State only has a pair of games against major conference competition this year, and it lost its first one at Kentucky 101-70. That was in the middle of a four game losing streak that included losses to Tennessee-Martin, Duquesne, and Arkansas State. Their wins are against Canisius, Bethune-Cookman, and Western Michigan all at home. They also lost a close overtime game at home against Kent State to start the season.

As with most of these games, Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan should feast because they have absolutely no size with which to compete in the post. Demonte Flannigan is their best post player and he will be giving up 7 inches and 50 pounds on Haas, so… Good luck! To have any chance they are going to have to be very successful with small ball and swarm the post when Haas gets the ball on the block.

Rob Edwards (16 ppg, 2.1 apg), Flannigan (15.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Bobby Word (11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg) are their top scorers. What will hurt the small ball plan is that they only shoot 30.5% as a team from three and 42.9% from the field. No one on the team is over 37% from three, and only Word and Edwards have hit more than 10 on the year. This team also plays a lot of one-on-one with only 11 assists per game

There is not a lot to say from this one other than Purdue should dominate. This is not a strong shooting team, they hit less than 70% of their free throws, they are hilariously overmatched in the post, Purdue is outrebounding them by five per game, and out-assisting them by 9. They also turn the ball over as much as Purdue.

That’s really what I want to see there. I want to see Purdue start to clean up the turnovers that have cost it so dearly against Villanova and Louisville. The backcourt has been strong for Purdue and the Boilers are even out-shooting the self-styled 3-swish mafia in Bloomington. Purdue is 99 of 221 on the season from long range for 44.8% while Indiana is 73 of 191 for 38.2%. If it can clean up the turnovers… holy crap this is going to be a good team.

So that’s what I want to see. I want to see 10 turnovers or less and I want to see Tommy Luce score, as he is the only player who has played without scoring.